“I didn’t do it deliberately” claims Vettel

19 Comments
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

After passing his teammate against the wishes of Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel has apologized to Mark Webber following the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“I did make a big mistake today,” said Vettel after the race.

“We should have stayed in the positions we were in. I didn’t ignore it [the order to hold position] on purpose but I messed up the situation.

“It doesn’t help his feelings right now. Apologies to Mark and now the result is there, but all I can say is that I didn’t do it deliberately.”

Vettel had trailed Webber since the first round of stops in Malaysia, but he closed on his teammate after the final pit stops towards the end of the race. Despite the team telling him to back off, the German driver took the lead from his teammate and then set off into the distance.

The tension between the two drivers was evident on the podium, and in the ‘cool down’ room after the race, Webber was seen shouting “multi 21” at Vettel, believed to be the code used by Red Bull when they want to hold position.

As well as apologizing to Webber, Vettel also admitted that he put the 1-2 finish for the team at risk.

“I took quite a lot of risk to pass him and I should have behaved better.”

Webber made his disappointment clear at the end of the race, and Red Bull will be keen on repairing their drivers’ relationship during the three week break before the Chinese Grand Prix. However, playing ‘happy families’ is the last thing on Webber’s mind, who is keen on returning to his native Australia during the break.

“It is three weeks to the next race so we are fortunate,” said Webber. “I will catch some waves in Australia.”

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
0 Comments

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.